x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Labour strikes erupt in Dubai

Strikes break out, with thousands of construction workers blocking roads and demanding higher wages.

Labour strikes erupted in Dubai today as thousands of workers stopped work and blocked roads demanding better wages from their employer. Workers from Al Habtoor Engineering stopped work on its sites in Deira as well as in the Jebel Ali port area. More than 2,000 protesting labourers in Deira stopped work at about 8am and walked on to the road, briefly halting traffic and creating chaos. Dubai police and labour officials immediately reached the work site and started controlling the crowd. "All the overtime that we were allowed to do has stopped and our salaries are not enough for us to survive. We are demanding for a raise in the salary," said Abdul Rahman, one of the workers at the site. The workers are employed at the Al Ghurair City Centre expansion project. Labour officials were seen using speakers to address the gathered crowd and urging workers to return to work. Meanwhile, witnesses described workers in Jebel Ali walking on to the main Sheikh Zayed Road leading from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and blocking traffic. The workers, who also belonged to the same company, were quickly moved from the road by the police. "The officials assured us that they are discussing the matter with the company and a solution would be found in two days. We had told them that there would be no trouble from our side for now," said another worker. Company officials have said that the issue has been resolved. A statement is expected from the company soon. pmenon@thenational.ae